Sinkhole closes Old Place Road

Published 12:04 pm Saturday, April 25, 2015

Thunderstorms rolled through Southampton County on Monday evening, and a large sinkhole was produced on Route 567 (Old Place Road) as a result. This prompted the Virginia Department of Transportation to close the road and request state emergency funds for the fix.

“Franklin Residency crews and our District Bridge crews are working on a temporary fix so we can reopen the roadway as soon as possible while we are waiting on the permanent work to begin,” said VDOT spokeswoman Laurie Simmons.

In the meantime, Simmons said that VDOT is proceeding with advertisements to find a contractor that will restore the roadway section as quickly as possible to prevent further erosion.

“We hope to have the contractor our there working on the permanent fix to the sinkhole within 30 to 45 days,” she continued. “It could be sooner or later than that, depending on factors like the availability of contractors or specialized equipment, unknown site conditions, availability of materials needed, etc.”

The emergency work is expected to cost roughly $500,000, and Simmons said that VDOT will use existing district maintenance funds to complete the work instead of waiting for the emergency funds to arrive.

A detour has been set up to help traffic avoid the closure. To steer clear of Route 657, motorists will be directed to turn onto Route 658 (Barrow Road) and travel approximately two miles before turning onto Route 609 (Pope’s Station Road), which ends at Route 693 (Garris Mill Road), one-fifth of a mile from Route 657’s end.

Because the repair is considered only a maintenance project and not construction, VDOT does not have a project page to inform drivers when the road will reopen.

For additional information, contact Simmons at 925-1647.